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Lewis The Leader Essay

856 words - 4 pages

Lewis the Leader
Meriwether Lewis is the main reason that the United States’ territory extends from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Pacific Ocean (“Meriwether Lewis” 2). He has done many great things, but he is best known for exploring the American West (1). He was a great man full of bravery. Meriwether faced tons of dangers in his life but he overcame all of them. Lewis “helped change the face of the United States by exploring uncharted territory- the American West (“Meriwether Lewis” 2).”

Lewis had a very interesting life and he showed it in a countless number of ways. According to Bio.com, Meriwether Lewis was born near Ivy, Virginia, on August 18, 1774 (“Meriwether Lewis”). Before he led the expedition, Meriwether was Thomas Jefferson’s private secretary. He was a captain in the army and he helped to fight against the Whiskey Rebellion (1). Lewis developed a drinking problem, but he fought and overcame it (2). Thomas Jefferson chose him to explore the land west of the Mississippi River known as the Louisiana Purchase (1). Pbs.org states that Lewis was the official leader of the exploration of the Louisiana Purchase (“Meriwether Lewis”). Bio.com says that the explore group was called the Corps of Discovery (“Meriwether Lewis” 1). He chose William Clark as the co-commander for the expedition. They began their journey in May 1804 near St. Louis, Missouri (1). Gary Moulton believes that the Corps of Discovery included 33 people: Lewis, Clark, 3 sergeants, 23 privates, 3 interpreters, York, and a baby Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (222b). According to Frances Hunter, the group received help from Sacagawea, a member of the Shoshone tribe, who acted as a translator and kept peace with other Native Americans. Pbs.org asserts that the they were given horses and food by Sacagawea’s Shoshone tribe who was led by her brother (“Meriwether Lewis”). Bio.com declares that Lewis and the Corps of Discovery faced many challenges on their journey including dangerous waters, disease, harsh weather, and unfreindly Native Americans (“Meriwether Lewis” 1). Lewis and Clark wrote journals and kept samples of all the new plants and animals they found (2). Lewis was very brave when he fought off a group of Blackfeet Indians after being attacked (1). The Corps stayed over the winter at Oregon after they reached the Pacific Ocean and then returned home to complete their approximately 8,000 mile journey. When the group returned Thomas Jefferson was excited and he payed Lewis with a salary, 1,600 acres of land, and he was named governor of the Louisiana...

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